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A simple stretching & exercise routine that you can do right from your desk

You know stretching is important. Oftentimes people don’t know where to start, or feel like they never have the time to fit it in. Here, we’ve simplified things and created a list of five stretches and one exercise that you can do without even leaving your workstation. Heck, you may even be able to do these while on your Zoom video conference (depending on how silly you’re willing to look). These particular stretches are well-suited to counteract some of the negative side effects from prolonged sitting and computer work.




  1. Upper Trap Stretch

  • Tip one ear toward the same shoulder, keeping your eyes facing forward

  • Apply gentle pressure with the same side hand, if needed

  • Stretch should be comfortable and felt on the opposite side of the neck and possibly toward the shoulder

  • Hold for 30 seconds and repeat 2 - 3 times on each side




  1. Levator Scapulae Stretch

  • Place one hand under your chair to anchor that side of the neck

  • Turn your head in the opposite direction of that hand

  • Tuck your chin

  • Gently use the same side hand to bring your head forward to feel a comfortable stretch in the back of the neck and down toward the shoulder blade

  • Hold for 30 seconds and repeat 2 - 3 times per side





  1. Wrist Extensor Stretch

  • With your arm stretched out straight ahead of you and your palm facing down, use your opposite hand to gently pull your hand toward you

  • Stretch should be comfortable and felt in the top of the forearm to the wrist

  • Hold for 30 seconds and repeat 2 - 3 times on each side





  1. Thoracic Extension 

  • Place your hands behind your head for support

  • Take a deep breath in, and as you exhale, extend your middle back over the top of your firm chair

  • This helps to improve the mobility in your middle back and open up the chest

  • Hold for 2 - 5 seconds and repeat 5 - 10 times 





  1. Piriformis Stretch

  • Cross one leg over the other by resting your ankle on top of your knee

  • Press down on the knee of the crossed leg with both hands

  • If you need more of a stretch, gently lean your trunk forward while keeping your back flat

  • Stretch should be comfortable and felt in the back of the hip

  • Hold for 30 seconds and repeat 2 - 3 times on each side




  1. Simple Exercise for Posture (Bilateral Shoulder External Rotation)

  • This can be performed with or without a resistance band

  • Sit (or stand) with elbows close to your side and palms facing up

  • Squeeze your shoulder blades together in the back and bring your hands apart 

  • Your shoulders should NOT raise up toward your ears

  • Hold for 2 - 5 seconds and repeated 10 - 15 times



This program can be repeated several times throughout the day and should always be comfortable. Please keep in mind that this is a general wellness program. If you need something specifically tailored to you and your needs, please give us a call so we can better help you. 


Be sure to check out our previous post on a great workstation setup to prevent pain, tightness, and injury. Stay well, don’t forget to stretch, and make time for yourself to be active. If you have any questions or concerns, don’t hesitate to reach out to us at BHPT. We’re here for you.


All photos from Medbridge

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Fax: (860) 326-5502

428 Long Hill Rd, Groton, CT 06340, USA

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